Collaboration with local authorities, community groups and partners, such as the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), to share information and integrate policies and strategies helps support sustainable tourism management.

Together, we are promoting a variety of activities to our passengers and delivering greater social and economic outcomes for communities.

Economic Impact

We continue to invest millions of Euros in new sustainable terminal facilities, and work has progressed on several of these:

The Durban Cruise Terminal in South Africa became operational in December 2021
Construction of the new MSC Cruises Terminal in Miami began in the summer of 2021
A new MSC Cruises Terminal in Barcelona is due to be operational in 2024.

All our new cruise terminals will meet the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver rating.

We aim to be a force for good in the communities we visit. We stimulate the local economy by procuring food and beverage items for our ships. Our guests contribute too when they buy excursions, meals or souvenirs from local vendors.  
In popular destinations, we typically work with tour providers who employ locally and support them as they build their business. This helps to generate jobs and engage with the local community to create shared value.

When we develop our private island destinations, including the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, Portuguese Island and Pomene, we always give a strong preference to employing local staff to build and maintain shore operations.
We continue to work collaboratively with CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) to support the sustainable tourism aspirations of the destinations we visit.

Economic Impact

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Sustainable Excursions

Our shore excursions team has worked with tour operators to identify excursions founded on strong sustainability principles. Known as ‘Protectours’, these excursions are specifically designed to educate our guests and promote sustainable tourism and responsible travel. Many of these tours include low impact transportation, including walking, cycling or kayaking, and many make a direct contribution to the environment through supporting species or habitat protection, like our Save a Turtle Tour experience in Cozumel.

We partnered with Travelife to deliver training and capacity building for all the tour operators we work with. Travelife is an initiative for tourism companies committed to achieving sustainability: its specialized indicators, based on the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s Industry Standard criteria, focus on supply chain impact and the responsibilities of tour operators.

[  The development of accessible tours also remains a priority, with the aim of ensuring that we offer guests with limited mobility a range of options at each destination. All our ‘Easy & Accessible’ tours aim to eliminate obstacles and ensure smooth access to all the highlights visited.

We aim for all tour operators used by MSC Cruises at our frequent destinations to be certified to a GSTC certification programme, or to be engaged in the process.

Sustainable Excursions

MSC Protectours - sustainable excursions | MSC Cruises

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve

We transformed MSC Ocean Cay Marine Reserve from an abandoned industrial facility to a pristine destination, creating a remote, natural desert island experience for our cruise guests. Despite the challenges, the benefits of our environmentally sensitive development became apparent, as the biodiversity increased in both the water, on land and in the air.

Thanks to our efforts there has been an increase in avian wildlife and the return of many bird species, including breeding pairs, as well as an increase in migrating populations. Waterbirds including herons, egrets and oystercatchers and are now frequently spotted and there have also been occasional sightings of birds of prey, including osprey and kestrels.
  Our efforts to remove significant quantities of scrap metal waste from the waters around the island has resulted in dramatic improvements in the local ecology and marine life has become more diverse. Now sea turtle sightings are common.

Through the MSC Foundation and the Super Coral programme we are working with leading coral and marine experts to research, develop, test and refine methods to reverse the decline in coral reefs in the 64-square-mile marine environment around Ocean Cay. Coral reefs support the highest biological diversity of any ecosystem in The Bahamas and are home to ecologically, economically and critically endangered species. Therefore, the aim is to rebuild the reefs through pioneering the development of coral that is more resilient to environmental threats like ocean pollution and warming.



Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve

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Our sustainability strategy is organized around four key pillars: Planet, People, Place and Procurement

Browse our Sustainability reports and find out what are our actions and goals to achieve sustainable cruising.